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Some frustrated with lack of parking in downtown Perry, city leaders say growth is the cause

The city says they recently added 36 spaces to the downtown area

PERRY, Ga. — In downtown Perry, it can be a little bit difficult to snag a parking spot. That’s why the city says they’ve been doing some brainstorming.

"Well, the parking downtown is just terrible," might be something you hear folks saying from time to time in Perry. Dot Leach helps her daughter run the Brittle & Co. consignment shop and says the parking shortage doesn’t help

"So they have heavy loads they have to carry, and if they can’t park anywhere near here, it’s difficult for them to get in," Leach said.

A few blocks up, Mary Jo Mazick at Kollier & Co. says spaces are available but you've got to use your legs.

"If you’re willing to walk a little further, there is some parking," she said, but she knows people prefer the convenience of parking close.

"I know a lot of people like to park right out there on Carroll Street and just walk into the store and shop," Mazick said.

Robert Smith, the city’s assistant manager, says the area is hot, seeing more shops and eateries move in, but that could mean less space for spots where people believe they should be.

"It has always been the vision of the City of Perry to have our parking downtown more on the periphery and people would park in the periphery and walk into the center of downtown," he said.

Including the 36 spaces they added in November, there are 1,400 to 1,500 spaces, and 350 of those are public. Smith says the city hears the complaints and they’re working on four projects including partnering with the railroad.

"We're working with the railroad and some of their right of way to develop parking within that right of way," he said.

So for those like Leach who say, "We just need to find a solution," the city says their plans might leave fewer people driving in circles.

The city says they added 36 spaces on Main Street from Evergreen Street to Legacy Park last November, and they plan to expand by buying more property and creating spaces at the Perry Events Center.